Recently I was commenting upon an wartime ghost encounter submitted on this site and relayed a story to the author which was told to me by my father many many years ago which happened to his brother who served in the Kriegsmarine during World War II.
So taken with the story, a few members asked me to post the story and so I will.
Here goes... My father's brother was named Egon and served on the infamous battleship Bismarck and sadly lost his life when it was sunk. Before its sinking however, and while his brother was in his Kriegsmarine training, his brother came home on leave and told him a story that haunted my father for the rest of his life. My father being only 6 or 7 years of age at the time.
Egon served on a Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning "fast boat" in the English Channel 1940. The mission of his service was to try to rescue downed Luftwaffe airman who were at that time fighting England in the Battle of Britain.
One evening during a nighttime air offensive, Egon's Schnellboot left France and sailed into English Channel. As they cut their engines and waited to perform their service of rescue they soon became aware of Spanish voices. Thinking that this might be fisherman from neutral Spain they decided to see if they could pull alongside their boat or move closer as to not have a collision. As the voices grew louder very soon the Schnellboot's searchlight came upon what could best be described as a 16th century Spanish galleon under full sail with crew.
My father told me that Egon and his crew were paralyzed with fear as this 16th Century vessel sailed past them. He said that the ship's details, e.g. Planks, rigging, cannons, etc. Were all distinguishable; including some of the crew who took no notice of them. The vessel proceeded leeward from their point of reference until it vanished and could no longer be seen.
On return to port, Egon's captain made a report which prompted the crew's separation (break-up) and re-deployment. They were told that the incident was not to be spoken about.